Fantasy is a 1952 McGeady designed launch and Ken Ricketts has commented on WW previously that she was probably part built by the McGeady yard and the interior then fitted out by her 1st owner Colin Lannam.
This woodys is all we know about her. In the photos above taken recently in Rocky Bay, Waiheke Island, its obvious she has had a lot of attention in recent times. Can we learn anymore about this launch.
Input from owner/s – Fantasy owned by Catherine Arnault since 2 or so years with partner Bruce Dunlop being the active restorative force . Underfloor Sole 72 hp engine from 2007 runs well and remarkably quiet. Cabin sides had extensive rot under windows and this has been attended to . Hull extremely well built by McGeady with 6 stringers each side of hull running entire length of hull with ribs at 12 inch centers makes for a sturdy panel all copper riveted . Interior revamped 2 salon berth’s with dble starboard midships and fwd in progress 2 berth’s . Great roomy Gulf Cruiser . Home port at moment Mangawhai Estuary.
SEA SPRAY During the week I was chatting to Lake Rotoiti boat builder Alan Craig and he mentioned that he was scoping out a 1956 built, 17’ kauri clinker run-about on tme for a client. The boat had a J. Logan builders plate and we both wondered if it was ’the-real-deal’. On these matters there is only one go to guru – so a quick email to Harold Kidd confirmed that Sea Spray was indeed built by Jack Logan, and HDK had had a lot to do with Jack Logan and the Chappies, who had a twin to his boat on Lake Okareka. That intel was enough for Alan to buy the boat.
Alan understands that for a lot of the boats life, it was north of Tutakaka. The new owner has x2 Arona 10hp engines and gearboxes, which fingers crossed, one will go into the boat.Having witnessed the work of Alan’s yard – Sea Spray will emerge as an awesome addition to the woody lake fleet. Alan has promised to keep us updated with work-in-progres photos 🙂
Woody Classics Weekend – Riverhead Tavern Lunch Cruise Saturday night in Auckland was evil, rain, thunder and lightening – up and down several times during the night, each time thinking – Sundays woody cruise will be cancelled. But once again the weather gods smiled on us and half way up the river the sun came out and stayed out all day. Saturday nights weather scared a few boats off making the trip but most decided to join in via car.
A very pleasant afternoon was had in the Tavern’s Boathouse, which we had reserved for the group. Wonderful to catch up with everyone and to welcome several newbies to the group.Hats off the Jim and Karin Lott who made the trip up the river in their 38’ Stewart yacht – Mokoia. Make a note yachties – sub 2m draft and you are all good 😉
You will notice from the upper river photos that after all the rain, the water was very muddy – worst I have seen it – makes you wonder about all the farm land ‘converted’ to high density housing in the area. When we first started woody trips to the Tavern, most of the surrounding land was either forestry or pasture.
Took a detour on the way back into the viaduct, almost feel embarrassed asking the bridge control to raise the bridge for Raindance 🙂 , to check on the John Spencer / Classic Yacht & Launch gig at Kairanga Plaza, Wynyard Quarter – scored a VIP berth, thank you Tony Stevenson.Not as many photos as normal , for once I spent most of the afternoon chatting, special thanks to Chris Miller who grabbed my camera a few times and snapped some goodies.
WIN A COPY OF ‘THE JOHN SPENCER STORY’ 64 PAGE BOOKLET
All woodys that answer the following question correctly, go into the draw for a copy of the above – As always, entry ONLY VIA EMAIL to email@example.com
Q – “What was the longest yacht John Spencer designed and built”?
Back in early October we did a story on a collection of boating books and photographs that David Campbell-Morrison rescued from the rubbish bin. The owner of the collection was a D.F. Thompson and the material was from / dated the early 1930’s to the mid 1940’s. Any photos were of yachts except for the photo above.
Can anyone help with identifying the motorboat, location and crew? Its quite a distinctive design so hopefully someone will recognise the vessel. Given it appears to be an aerial photo and the number of crew on-board and that the crew have all turned out on deck, my wild guess is that it may be performing a role of ‘mother-ship’ in an offshore yacht race.
06-11-2020 Input from Harold Kidd – MIRANDA was a 55ft twin-engined steel launch built by E.D. (Bill) Edmundson at Thorndon Quay and launched in June 1953 after 7 years of work.. She became the unofficial flagship for the Royal Port Nicholson Yacht Club and did a trip to Sydney and back in 1960-1.
REMINDER:Starting this Friday > Sunday – Auckland’s Waterfront Celebrates Yacht Designer John Spencer – Details Below
Twice in 2019 we reported that Lady Margaret was for sale in Picton and then sold and heading north to Whangarei. Links to those stories below. Her new owner – Alistair McRae has her hauled out at present for some deferred maintenance and TLC. Alistair commented that he has been in touch with the one of the previous owners – Mike Allan who undertook an extensive ($$$) make over, carried out in the 2007 > 2008 period. When Mike purchased her she was called Happy Wanderer and he renamed her Lady Margaret, however he was misinformed, this was not her as launched name. She was built in1955 by L. Beacon in Mt Albert and named Lady Mary, sadly Beacon died in 1956 and her new owner changed the name to Happy Wanderer. Lots more details in the two links below.
Mike has had the boat in a shed for about three months and has had windows out and re-sealed. Some rot in the cabin top removed and a major tidy up of the cabin coamings – much sanding and many coats of paint. Also upgrading the blackwater holding tank, and removing the old bronze thru hulls and valves.The mast, handrails and toe rails were stripped back and have had many many coats of Awlwood and look magnificent. And will be replacing the existing cabin top grab rails with Iroko dowel which will get the Awlwood treatment and add another shiny wood touch.
REMEMBER THE OPEN DAY, TOMORROW AFTERNOON) AT THE PETER BROOKES BOAT SHED – NOT TO BE MISSED
SPECIAL INVITATION – A Peek Inside One of Your Best Wooden Boatbuilders ShedYou are invited to an open afternoon at Brookes Boatbuilders, to view the restoration of:Fife Yacht, Impala, Refit of K class yacht, Katrina II, Restoration of Launch – Amakura II, and the many other wooden boats at the yard – Matia, Ladye Wilma, Kotiri, Pilot Cutter, Kenya II (Peter’s own classic launch)
DATE: Sunday 1st November – Time: 2pm-7pm – ADDRESS: 108 Woodhill Park Road, Waimauku, Auckland These invites only happen every 3>4 years so woodys do not miss out, it will be an amazing afternoon.
Labour Weekend Woody Cruise The last 3 days would have to be one of the best boating long weekends in a very long time, well thats if you own a motor-boat. The classic woody stick and rag boys racing in the Coastal Classic race to Russell in the Bay of Islands made very hard work of it – did any finish?, those I talked to pulled out on Saturday morning. A quick glance at the results show about 75% of the total fleet did not finish.
The biggest decision of the weekend was whether to turn left or right at North Head, I went left and made the right call, as the reports from the bottom end of Waiheke and Coromandel was it was a zoo 🙂 On the other hand Rakino was perfect – great weather and not too crowded. Only saw 3 other woodys – Gay Dawn and Juanita in Woody Bay and Mahanui just out from West Bay (very early Monday morning) and passed Felicitare
Highlight was a seriously up close encounter with some Orca while anchored in West Bay – they were rounding up a feed of stingray for lunch. I see Trinidad is making a star appearance in the AWLWOOD (Uroxsys) advertisements 😉
Update – Arohanui mooching around the bottom end of Waiheke and Coromandel
ARCTURUS – An Update Recently WW was contacted by Annie Bryce who along with her partner bought the 33’, 1952 McGeady launch – Arcturus a couple of months ago. Annie advised that they have put her on the hard and sanded her hull back which was in good condition, re-painted and anti-fouled Her topsides have been painted and they are addressing a few window issues. The engine has had a few minor repairs and the next stage is a full interior re-do. Annie commenced that Arcturus is a lovely launch and they are keeping her in the Sounds at Waikawa marina.
Annie would appreciate any information the WW readers may have on Arcturus, its a mystery how an Auckland boat ended up so far south.
Firstly I need to thank Predictwind for Saturdays forecast, 100% on the button, as usual. One woody at the picnic didn’t come by boat based on the forecast published in Saturdays NZ Herald newspaper……………….. I suspect they also believe the horoscopes in the same paper are factual.
The morning started off a tad eerie with a sea mist blanketing a lot of the sea area off the east coast – but this burned off late morning and we then enjoyed perfect weather. The NZH and coastguard weather forecasts saw the numbers of launches attending drop to 12 but great to see so many turning up by car. Also very fine to have 3 past CYA chairman in attendance – Steve Cranch, Rod Marler and Peter Mence. The waterfront based Stillwater Motor Camp is an idyllic setting for a gathering of classic wooden boats – deep water wharf access to raft up to + a tree shaded lawn. After some interesting docking (too many dockside expects) we had the launches tied up and everyone then decamped to the lawn. Special thanks to Mark Edmonds (Monterey) for again coordinating the venue. A lot of the group had not caught up since the CV-19 lock-downs so it was good to swap stories and boating plans for the upcoming summer.
There has always been good camaraderie on the water between boaties and its something that we foster at Woody Classics Weekends – proof of it in practice is seen below in the photo of Rod and Fiona aboard Arohanui taking Murray Deeble’s Waikiore under tow. Towed him all the way back to the entrance to Milford Creek, where another woody – Jason Prew had ventured out in rather unpleasant conditions to get Waikiore back on her Milford berth. Well done to everyone.
Message for Murray – “should have bought a Yamaha” 🙂
Next Woodys on the water event – November 8th – Riverhead Tavern Lunch Cruise
“I am writing this as the owner of Tamaroa from early 1994 to the middle of 2010. She was in a sad state when I bought her and it was only the quality of the original hull construction which warranted her restoration.
Tamaroa was built by Collings and Bell Ltd for A.E. Fisher of Whangarei. at a date which I have not been able to confirm. At the time of sale I was told that she was the last boat made by Collings and Bell. “They sent her down the slip and closed their doors after her”. When I tried to confirm this story I found that there were quite a number of ‘last boats built by Collings and Bell’ And whatever Tamaroa might be, she was not that. I have been told she was built in 1953 but my enquiries suggested she may have been built in the late 1940s. She certainly was built at a time when Kauri was short and all the larger timbers in the cabin sole above the engines and the cabin sole planking in the stern cabin were Southland Beech. So too were many of the finishing timbers.
In the time I owned her I measured her up and made extensive CAD drawings to aid with her reconstruction. These show her as being 12.8 meters (42′) between perpendiculars and 3.3 meters (11′-10″) beam. By the time one took into account the strongman for the anchor and the boarding platform at the stern she was in modern NZMIA parlance 13.77 meters (45′) over all. Further, substantial strakes had been added to increase the width of the decks and these brought her overall beam up to a little over 4 metres (13′-1″).
When she was built she was fitted with what was reported to be a large Austin diesel engine. Irrespective of what the exact date of build might be, as far as I can tell, Austin were not at that period making diesel engines suitable for a boat of that size but they were using Perkins P6 engines. Also Perkins were supplying engine exchange kits to enable the fitting of the P6 engine to Austin trucks. The Perkins P6 was commonly used in larger boats at that time and it is most likely that this is what was actually used. Alternatively it could have been the almost contemporaneous and slightly more powerful S6.
At some stage Tamaroa was sold to a Mr Jeeves. Mr Jeeves was allergic to diesel fumes and had the original engine removed and two Scripps engines (marine conversion of the old flat head Ford V8) installed. This entailed fitting new shaft, tubes and logs to the hull. The engines were fitted with identical Borg Warner gear boxes with the results that both shafts turned in the same direction.
Tamaroa then passed through various hands until an Allan Brown bought her from a truck sales man whose name he can no longer recall. Allan Browne did not like the petrol engines and he started to convert Tamaroa back to the original diesel by replacing the port engine with a Nissan SD33 diesel engine. The Nissans come in a variety of configurations and this one was configured for industrial use in a forklift truck. For a time he ran Tamaroa with one engine diesel and the other petrol but not long before he sold it to me in 1998 he installed a second industrial SD33 identical to the first except that it had a slightly different flywheel housing.
When I bought her the interior was in a rather sad stripped-out and crudely rehashed state. However I had her surveyed by Jack Taylor and he gave a good report on the condition of her hull. The strength of the construction of the hull impressed him and was such that he took a lot of convincing that it was not a prewar boat. The cabin was a different matter: he kept repeating that they had left it to the apprentices. When I later got to replacing the glass in the cabin I found that the port side bore only a passing resemblance to the starboard with various nominally equal dimensions varying by several inches from one side of the cabin to another.
By the time I bought her most of the original furniture had gone and been replaced by a mish-mash of all kinds of strange things. There was a large armchair in one corner of the wheelhouse which in fact was a refrigeration cabinet. And when it rained the cabin leaked like a sieve.
I started the long process of fitting her out. When I removed what was not wanted I was left with a large empty space with a flush dunny on one side. The engine changes over her life had caused the structural beams for the deck in the wheel house to be badly chopped around and I decided to replace the whole structure. This included the cabin sole in the wheelhouse. There was so little of the original left that I decided to refit the interior from scratch with a clean sheet of paper. It’s not original but it incorporate most mod cons and it works.
The aft cabin sole was planked and screwed down with immovable bronze screws. We had not been able to lift this for the survey. After I had bought her, all had to be laboriously cut out to give access to the hull. The completion of this work revealed a dreadful state of affairs. When the new shafts were installed for the twin screws. no sealant (tallow, pitch) had been run to fill the gap between the shaft tubes and the logs. The result was that over the years sea water had been seeping in past the stern bearing housing and evaporating through the timber of the adjacent planking and the shaft logs. The concentration of salt had given the timber the consistency of Weetbix and in places the sound planking was only 3mm thick. Nevertheless, as we had found at the time of survey, what remained was so hard that attacking it with large knife from the outside revealed no weakness. In the end more than 4 square meters of the bottom had to be replaced. This entailed new shaft logs, GRP tubes and shafts. Needless to say all this was sealed with copious quantities of epoxy resin.
The original central rudder had been retained when the two Scripps engines were fitted. At the same time two wing rudders were installed in the propellor streams in order to give better low speed steering. The rudder shafts and glands were in a sad state and the only reason they had not sunk Tamaroa at her moorings was that the glands were about 5cm above water. The general design and condition of all this was such that I decided to remove the original rudder and fit two new rudders to suit the new installation. Propellor calculations had suggested the original propellers were too small and spinning rather too fast for the Nissan engines. After much searching I decided to replace the original gear boxes with a pair of ZF which gave me a deeper reduction and allowed the use of larger propellers.
The evidence of the transom was that when Tamaroa had been first built the exhaust discharged through the transom on the port side. There was also evidence of a smaller exhaust along side the main exhaust suggesting she may have been fitted with a small auxiliary ‘popper’ engine of some kind. The original exhaust system was discarded when the two Scripps engines were installed. Instead each engine was equipped with its own ‘North Sea’ exhaust which discharged on both sides of the vessel at the water line. These employed large thin-walled bronze tubes fitted into the hull. I did not like these as they were old, had screw threads for securing nuts cut into them and most importantly, they had no seacocks.
I removed these and blocked one of the two holes on each side. Too the remaining hole I fitted a large bronze skin fitting with a gate valve for use as a sea cock. The two Nissans had been fitted with wet exhausts, the risers for which were just underneath the cabin sole which had become charred by radiated heat. Accordingly I had made for each engine a water cooled riser which discharged into a large rubber silencer.
The Scripps installation had required two additional outboard engine bearers which I thought were rather short. I had these extended to pick up the major framing bulkheads ahead and aft of the engines. The original water tanks were four, by now, battered 30 gallon hot water cylinders mounted in cradles underneath the wheelhouse. I found drinking warm, slightly green, tainted water to be unpalatable so I replaced these with stainless steel tanks to each side of the aft cabin. At the same time I had two aluminium 520 litre fuel tanks constructed which sat in the engine space on top of the forward end of the engine bearers.
Before Allan Brown had bought Tamaroa an attempt had been made to install an external steering and control station on top of the aft cabin. This used cable steering and holes were bored through whatever part of the vessel got in the way of the cable’s passage. Allan Brown had replaced this with hydraulic steering with a rather crude linkage at the rudders. A windscreen and dodger had also been fitted. I totally rebuilt all of this during the refit. I also installed dual Simrad navigation, radar and plotter control stations.
The refrigerated armchair was replaced with an electrically powered refrigerator and freezer. There was only one working alternator between the two engines and this was charging a very large lead-acid battery which tests showed was down to about 12% of its original storage capacity. With the increased electrical load had to totally rebuild the electrical system. I installed separate engine and house batteries charged by two alternators, one of which was of high capacity for the house battery, and installed two large solar panels on the roof of the cabin.
The galley was relocated from forward to the aft cabin. Two LPG cylinders were installed in a properly ventilated locker in the transom. A gas hot water heater was fitted to the aft cabin bulkhead and used to supply pressurised hot water to both the galley and toilet/shower area which now resides forward in the place where the galley had been.
Apart from up in the bows, all of the furniture is new. It was all designed to be held in place by screws so that it could be removed without any cutting and hacking. I had most of this work done by freelance boat builders.
The electrical side of the refit is a story on its own. There are literally kilometers of wiring throughout the hull and concealing this was a major task. I probably spent as much time on this as I did on everything else combined. Be warned, if you want mod cons in an old boat, there is a downside”.
Most of the photographs above of Tamaroa show her as she was when Eric sold her.
Back in September 2019 I spotted the launch – Marline coming up Milford Creek on-route to The Slipway yard. As it turns out she was being hauled for a heart transplant – a wonderful new Yanmar 120hp was being installed. The top two photos above show here in the ‘creek’. At the time I thought – very nice woody, but ……….. pity about the low rise block of flats on top.
So you can image how pleased I was last Thursday to walk in to The Slipway shed and see a team in the process of demolishing the flats. Marline was built in 1950 by Leon Warne in St. Marys Bay, for his own use. Son Ken gave me a guided tour of the boat and detailed the work in-hand. And she will be returning to a more traditional configuration 🙂 Marline is approx 35’ x 11’ 4’ and draws 3’6”. She had a reputation as ’the party boat’ and once aboard its easy to see way – an 11’+ beam on a 35’ boat makes for a lot of living space.I love the original cabin lights – Leon Warne cast them, son Ken still has the mould……….. now that has got me thinking 😉
The gallery of photos below, ex Ken, give us a peek into her past, as you will see, she was successfully used for Game Fishing for many years, out of Tauranga